How is it September already? We hope you've had a brilliant summer.
For 'Chats with Makers' this month, we have a very special feature for you. Laurelle, Founder of Sleepgoddess is taking sleep to the next level. We recently visited Top Drawer London and lavender was trending. Right on point wouldn't you say?
Laurelle juggles her business alongside being a mum of two, and we don't quite know how she does it! She has been involved in a big Ad campaign which is soon to be released, and was also picked as Seekology's best new Black-owned British Beauty Brand last week. She sounds like a very driven and resilient woman, we can't wait to meet her during our Instagram live on Thursday.
Thursday 16th September - Sleepgoddess x LMM Instagram Takeover and Live at 1pm.
Scroll down to find out more...
How would you describe Sleepgoddess?
Ancient beauty sleep rituals with a sustainable and modern twist, filled with good vibes!
Sleepgoddess products are designed to be practical and improve your sleep, hair and skincare routine so you rest better and awake to your best life.
How was your business born and what made you do it?
In October 2019, I was made redundant from my job completely out of the blue, having just returned from maternity leave. I felt lost and set about to pursue a life-long dream: to start my own business. In fact, redundancy was a blessing in disguise, as it led me onto a new path to found Sleepgoddess. As someone who suffers with insomnia (I’ve tried every sleep product on the market!), I’ve always been interested in quality sleep and waking up feeling my best.
A busy mother of two, I realised one night with my daughter Gabrielle that I was so tired of constantly having to wrap satin fabric around her pillows and using the same satin in her buggy and her pram to look after her hair as I sought to keep it moisturised. I thought, there must be an easier way. I made an elasticated version of a pillowcase and liked it and then sought to have a professional prototype done during Lockdown. I set about to create my own silk-like product that was multi-functional,
cruelty-free and easy-to-use. Fast forward to September 2020, I launched Sleepgoddess with its own unique range of elasticated, vegan silk pillowcases.
What is your favourite Sleepgoddess product and why?
I’m in love and passionate about all my products. I can’t really choose!
I love the graphic prints on my pillow covers and the fact that my design is elasticated. It is unique. The idea here is that the pillow cover is multifunctional so can be used over multiple things/surfaces. So it goes from your standard pillow to your lounge cushion, your car headrest and even your airplane headrest. The slip is necessary to keep hair and skin moisturised. This prevents frizziness and reduces hair breakage and eliminates fine lines on the face and neck.
I also love the aromatherapy shower mist I’ve created. These are steam salts to use in the shower for whole body steaming or in facial steams. I wish I had this product to help me relax following my 2 C-Sections.
Do you have any tips for a good night's sleep?
Sleep cannot be looked at in isolation of your other daily activities and routines. One should look at sleep holistically, always in connection to what else is going on from morning till bedtime. My key advise is always to pay attention to your diet, your exercise, stress levels even your relationships for example. Just like kids, adults proper routine and healthy attitudes towards sleep can also assist.
I am a firm believer in using affirmations and natural sleep aids. Sometimes the simple things like a bath, shower, the right cuppa, or journaling can make a wonderful difference to getting quality rest.
How do you keep your products sustainable and eco-friendly?
Sustainability is so important to me, and my products are made from vegan fabric and other vegan materials right here in the UK. I ensure that my products are handcrafted with care, made by local seamstresses, with precision using only ethical and sustainable elements. The silks I use are cruelty-free, and in some cases where polyester satin is utilised, I go the extra mile to ensure that recycled polyester is used.
My personal philosophy is that with sustainability, small contributions work towards the greater good. As a new business owner I have found that it will actually be more profitable for my business if I were to have my products manufactured in China for instance. Yet I made the decision early on that everything has to be handmade right in the UK as profit is not the main goal here. Quality and sustainability are more significant factors for me and this gives me more satisfaction.
It is the same even for my packaging. Of course it will be cheaper to have plastic packaging. But at what cost to the environment? What example will I be setting for my little humans who inspired me to do this business in the first place? All of my packaging is eco-friendly. Principally, I choose reusable packaging - glass jars, glass bottles, reusable satin drawstring bags etc. I also use compostable void fillers and mailers and some recyclable card board boxes for shipping out orders.
I launched this new business with an aim to make a difference and be a solution to replace fast and unsustainable fashion for your beauty sleep needs. I am on a journey to ensure that ALL of the fabrics and materials used are plastic free. I always invite the public to be patient with me while I learn and find the best and relevant resources to produce the finest and glamorous sleep aids for their needs.
What is one of the biggest challenges you face within your business
and how do you overcome it?
I have to say that one of the biggest challenges I faced was sourcing vegan and cruelty-free ingredients. I have now found reputable and dependable suppliers through lots of research, networking etc. I also experience and still do experience struggles with affordable eco-friendly packaging which is sustainable but still luxe.
I create all of my products alone, in my kitchen, with the exception of the pillow covers and scrunchies which are done by my seamstresses. My present challenge is finding time to do it all while still having 2 little ones to care for full time. I know it’ll be easier the older they get or when I take on additional help.
Which digital platforms and programs have helped you the most?
It has been the university of Google and YouTube for me.
My background is International Maritime Policy and making the transition from this to Sleep wellness during Lockdown, all in isolation and secretly I had to learn how to start a business, how to operate and get qualified in the niche I chose and how to set up a website, etc.
Do you have any advice for those starting their own business?
I’d say definitely START. Start with what’s making you uncomfortable and try to see a solution here. It does not matter that you may not yet have the skills, be willing to learn and acquire those skills and be passionate about the niche you choose. There is lots of free help available and you do not need a lot of money to start. I am an example of all of this.
What's next for Sleepgoddess? Any exciting plans for the rest of the year?
So much is happening at the moment. It's unbelievable how far I’ve come in exactly a year since I launched. I’ve just completed this docu film and Ad for a major company and its all about my digital journey to create this brand and this should be published soon.
I am looking forward to the launch of my own beauty sleep tea loose leaf blend which is all handmade right here, free from preservatives and it's all just wholesome organic goodness. Every herbal ingredient has been carefully selected for its properties regarding beauty and sleep for example I’ve included valerian root which is a natural sedative, orange peel has vitamin C which is great for the rejuvenation of cells so fantastic for the skin and of course Lavender which is in almost every product I create. I have been part of my local community garden and in charge of a herbarium there. On a personal note, gardening of the herbs is quite therapeutic for me.
By the end of September I expect to launch a Sleepy goddess candle. I am working with a local chandler on this one as well. I am busy working on a few prototypes for unique sleep accessories and plan on doing some pop up shops this year.
How can readers get in touch with you and find your shop?